This year once again on Monday evening of Labor Day September 2, at 7 p.m., we have the opportunity to show our support to an amazing chesed organization, Avigdor’s Helping Hand. This unique organization brings succor to families who have lost a breadwinner and also helps orphans to make a wedding. Avigdor’s Helping Hand helps people in our community and all over the United States. If a family loses the father or mother, aside from the tremendous emotional pain, there are often financial difficulties. Even when there is life insurance it may not kick in until 6 months to a year later due to red tape. Avigdor’s Helping Hand steps in and helps the family with their financial obligations during that first year for the first six months. We read in the Haftorah on Shabbos Chazon, “Learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” This is what Avigdor’s Helping Hand accomplishes and we have the opportunity to partner with them.
Amazingly, over the past 14 years since its inception this organization has dispersed $6.7 million for bereaved families. It has helped 450 families get back on their feet after a tragedy of the loss of a parent and made 860 weddings for orphans all across the country from Ny - LA- Miami - Cleveland etc. All of this was accomplished with zero overhead. AHH does not pay rent, salaries, or expenses. It operates with the help of 30 volunteers. AHH consists of 30 volunteers from all over New York including the West side of Manhattan, Borough Park, Flatbush, Queens, the Five Towns and Miami.
Volunteers vet cases that are referred to AHH. Every bereaved family needs two letters from rabbanim in their neighborhood. All information is verified by speaking with the family’s rabbi.
Some volunteers deal with credit card deposits. Some deal with writing checks for families. Mr. Michael Elias, a friend of Avigdor’s, created the website for AHH and crafts the flyers and advertising. Www.avigdorshelpinghand.org .
What a z’chus it is Avigdor Glaser, a”h, who was niftar in September of 2005. Avigdor’s Helping Hand was started by his friends and family as a way to carry on his name and as a z’chus for his neshamah. The idea of the organization was born when at that time another bereaved family needed help with necessities. They saw a niche and decided this was an ideal way to keep Avigdor Glaser’s memory alive.
The opening dinner (barbeque) took place on Labor Day of 2006, at the White Shul in Far Rockaway.
Today AHH is one of the largest organizations that helps make chasunahs for yesomim and also assists almanos.” Avigdor’s Helping Hand is based out of Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, and the Five Towns. They help every yid from anywhere in America who comes for help. The organization began a wonderful initiative of matching simchas. You can donate to a yesoma or yosam who is celebrating a simcha the same time as you. All donations are anonymous, so the donners and the receivers do not know each other’s identity. However, they are given each other’s Hebrew names to daven under the chuppah. What a beautiful way to spiritually elevate our simchahs.
In 2007, David and Bilhah Moradi of Lawrence New York, have hosted this event selflessly for the past 12 years. Imagine having one thousand plus guests at your home for a barbeque. Who is like am Yisrael? Avigdor’s Helping Hand is helping us do the mitzvah of emulating Hashem and going in His ways.“…Hashem protects strangers, orphan, and widow…” (t’hilah146)
The organization hopes to one day be able to help families for the whole first year after a loss of a breadwinner. They would love to increase their role in the life of widows and orphans to expand different programs like bar mitzvahs. They need the support of the community to do this.
This year’s event is scheduled to take place at the Moradi’s home on Monday evening of Labor Day Week-end September 2, at 7:00 p.m. The address is 72 Muriel Avenue Lawrence, NY. Donations to Avigdor’s Helping Hand are welcome and appreciated. This year’s barbeque will include the most amazing Chinese auction prizes ever seen at any previous Avigdor Helping Hand Labor Day barbecues with a fabulous grand prize Peloton bike. Delicious catering is provided by Michael Schick.
AHH is an IRS registered 501C3 recognized charitable organization. The organization’s rabbinic board headed by Rav Noach Isaac Oelbaum shlita includes Rabbi Henoch Savitsky shlita, Rabbi Peretz Steinberg shlita, and Rabbi Yaakov Friedman shlita.
You can donate online at the website avigdorshelpinghand.org. Checks payable to AHH can be sent to 138-45 78 Drive Flushing, NY 11367.Anyone interested in volunteering or bringing a family to AHH’s attention please call 718-568-9720. Www.avigdorshelpinghand.org.
The community is truly honored to have such an important organization in our midst. May the time come very soon when it will no longer be needed because Mashiach will be here!
By Susie Garber